You may know which wine you enjoy, but still be lost when it comes to pairing it with food. If you’re partial to red wine there are a number of delicious foods you can pair with it. While many people think of red meat, there are several other foods that go well with sweet or full-bodied red wines. Here are just a few foods you should consider pairing with your favorite red wines.

Steak and Other Red Meat

A full-bodied red wine pairs perfectly with steak and other red meats. Whether you’re serving prime rib for the holidays or having a grilled steak for dinner, red wine is an excellent choice. In fact, red meat is the first thing people suggest when discussing red wine.

Red Sauced Pasta Dishes

Lasagna, spaghetti, stuffed shells covered in marinara – they all pair beautifully with red wine. The robust taste of the pasta sauce balances perfectly with a full-bodied red wine. It’s a great way to take an inexpensive pasta dish and turn it into a fancy dinner. Just be sure not to choose a wine that is too light in flavor or it may be lost in the bold flavors of the pasta sauce.

Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? It doesn’t matter if you enjoy the smooth, creamy taste of milk chocolate or the mellow, sensuous flavor of dark chocolate, red wine is the best choice. A sweet dessert wine with 3-8% sugar would be the perfect match for chocolate dipped strawberries or even a decadent piece of chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache frosting.

Salty Cheeses

Last, but certainly not least, sweet red wines also pair well with salty cheeses. The combination of sweet and salty is perfect when having a small party or after dinner snack. Try combining blue cheese, Parmesan or feta with a Port or Merlot.

Red wine doesn’t have to be reserved for red meat. There are a number of foods that pair well with the characteristics of every variety of red wine. Whether you want a wine to pair with your favorite chocolate cake or hearty lasagna, there’s a red wine that will create a beautiful combination. When it doubt, ask your local wine merchant about which foods pair best with your favorite wine. Chances are they’ll have a list of foods you had never even considered serving with red wine. Best of all, the advice is free.